The Railway Series
James was designed by George Hughes and built by Horwich Works in 1912/13. He was designed as an experiment of the Class 28 locomotives, with a front pony truck installed at the front and 5'6” sized driving wheels instead of the class' usual 5'1”; these were added in an attempt to cure the “nose-diving” the class experienced when travelling at high speed. The experiment did not entirely produce the results hoped for, and in 1925, James was sold to the North Western Railway. However, when he first arrived on the Island of Sodor, James was damaged in a crash after his trucks pushed him down the line and his wooden brake blocks caught on fire. After being recovered from the wreck, James was sent to Crovan's Gate Works, where he was repaired, repainted into a new red livery and gained proper brakes; he presumably gained his Fowler tender around this time too.
When James returned from the Works, he became vain and troublesome; while double-heading a passenger train with Edward, he accidentally showered water over the Fat Controller's new top hat, almost forgot to stop at the station and disturbed an elderly lady with his hiccups. After being threatened by the Fat Controller with a coat of blue paint, James became grumpy and began bumping the coaches around aggressively, though this backfired on him when one of the brake-pipes began leaking and needed to be mended with a bootlace and some newspapers. Following this incident, James was shut up in the shed until he could learn his lesson. When he was finally let out by the Fat Controller, James was assigned to pulling a goods train to Killdane. Although he had some trouble when some of the trucks broke away, James managed to keep the train under control and deliver it to the station, and was allowed to keep his red paint after the Fat Controller had seen everything.
Even though he had proven to be useful, James was still teased by Gordon and Henry, who mocked him for his past mistakes. However, after Gordon got lost and wound up at Tidmouth, James was allowed to take the express in his place. He did so successfully, and he and Gordon became firm friends. When Thomas left Tidmouth to run the Ffarquhar Branch Line, James, Gordon and Henry became irritated, as they now had to fetch their own trains. After an incident on the turntable that left him humiliated, James, along with Gordon and Henry, decided to go on strike, refusing to leave the shed and behaving badly when they had to work. The Fat Controller eventually shut them up in the shed and made Thomas and Edward pull their trains, though he allowed them to come out when they were sorry.
When Diesel arrived on trial, James gained the nickname "Rusty Red Scrap-Iron". Believing that Duck was behind the insults, James, along with Gordon and Henry, turned against him. However, when Diesel was exposed and Duck was proven innocent, James and the other engines were sorry and welcomed him back. James later recalled the events of Diesel's visit to Duncan, though he greatly exaggerated certain parts of the tale, making it seem as though he was the one who sent him packing.
James continued to treat diesel engines with hostility, long after the other steam engines had already accepted them. Although he liked BoCo and Bear, James was openly nasty to other diesels, believing them to be inferior. However, when his injector froze one wintry day and he had to be rescued by the Works Diesel, James decided to give up his prejudiced views, as the diesel had been friendly to him. In 2011, James was chosen by the Fat Controller to go to the Mainland to collect a bust of the Thin Clergyman and deliver it to Tidmouth. James did so, but on the way back the entrance to Henry's Tunnel collapsed. Thankfully, James had gone through the tunnel before it collapsed and made it to Tidmouth with the bust. He attended its unveiling alongside the other engines.
Thomas & Friends
James arrived on the North Western Railway sometime before Thomas' arrival, and was originally painted black and wore wooden brake blocks, which were prone to burning up and emitting smoke when stopping. He originally owned Annie and Clarabel and believed that he would be given his own branch line, although the other engines doubted this.
When Thomas came to Sodor, James teased him on several occasions for making mistakes, often joining in with Gordon to make fun of him. However, one day, James ran out of control with a goods train and was unable to stop due to his brake blocks being on fire. Thomas chased after the train and tried to slow it down, but James flew off a bend and crashed in a field, the crash badly damaging him. Thomas rushed back to Knapford and retrieved Jerome and Judy, who helped to clear away the wreckage and placed James back on the rails. James was sent to the Steamworks to be mended, where he received his new red livery. Upon returning from the Steamworks, James found out that Annie and Clarabel now belonged to Thomas, who had been given the responsibility of running the Ffarquhar Branch Line.
Thomas & the Magic Railroad
In the film, Thomas met James at Tidmouth Sheds until Diesel 10 first arrived and told them his plans to destroy the lost engine named Lady. James and Thomas rebel against Diesel 10. Later on, Thomas, James and Gordon argue about who should have collected Mr. Conductor. After Mr. Conductor is helping to make James' itch disappear, James is sad, so Mr. Conductor happily says his red paint is bright and cheerful just like the gold dust and sends him off to work. Sometime afterwards, James appears at the Smelter's Yard when Diesel 10 arrived with Junior. Junior lands onto James' cab, and the two almost got thrown into the smelting pit by Diesel 10. Luckily, Junior used his gold dust to teleport them to a spot near the magic buffers, where Mr. Conductor was waiting. James departs and thanks Junior for his help.
James is very proud of his splendid red paintwork. He dislikes pulling trucks and believes that he should only pull coaches. He thinks himself superior to the others and can be shallow, boastful, overconfident, naughty, and vain, particularly to those who appear old-fashioned, weak, slow, or dirty. This has caused him to have somewhat of a rivalry with Edward, Percy, Toby and Duck. However, on a number of occasions, he has found himself in need of help from those whom he has insulted and is, in the end, apologetic. Even before he was repainted red he was rather boastful.
James was the last of the steam engines to retain a prejudice against diesels. However, after stalling on a cold day, he was rescued by the Works Diesel and James had to admit that nothing was wrong with diesels. This appears to be one of the few lessons that has stuck.
Since the seventeenth series, James has also been portrayed as a prankster, often tricking or scaring the other engines for fun, or to get out of jobs he dislikes doing. Following a particularly mean-spirited prank he played on Percy in Tale of the Brave, this gimmick seems to have died down.
Despite everything else, James has shown a caring side, is normally hard-working and like every other engine, wants to be responsible, reliable and really useful on Sir Topham Hatt's railway.
James is based on the L&YR Class 28, a class of 0-6-0 mixed-traffic tender locomotive designed by George Hughes for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and built by Horwich Works between 1909 and 1912. It was a rebuild of Aspinall's Class 27, with the addition of a Belpaire firebox, a Schmidt/"twin-plug" superheater, and the extension of the footplate and front sandboxes.
According to The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways, James is an experimental member of the Class 28s; he is fitted with a front pony truck (thus making him a 2-6-0 instead of an 0-6-0), 5'6" driving wheels instead of the class' original 5'1" ones and a Fowler tender. His front sandboxes also appear to be mounted underneath his footplate rather than his splashers.
James is painted in the North Western Railway's red livery with black lining and gold boiler bands. His dome is brass, and his number is painted on the sides of his tender in yellow with black lining. In the Railway Series, James' black lining became blue after Main Line Engines. His roof colour was also inconsistently illustrated as either black or red; since Clive Spong became illustrator, James has been consistently illustrated with a red cab roof.
James has also been seen in several other liveries aside from his red one:
- In the Railway Series, James was originally painted in the L&YR's mixed-traffic black livery. In the television series, James was always painted red, even when he was a new engine, but did have his black livery in The Adventure Begins. He also had red lining on the back of his tender, which was removed after his repaint.
- In The Green Controller, James was mistakenly painted in yellow and black stripes on Percy's orders. He was quickly repainted back into his original livery when the problem was noticed.
- In Tickled Pink, James was painted in a pink undercoat before his red paint could be applied. Although he was said to be in an undercoat, James still retained his lining, number and black wheels and smokebox.
- In The Great Race, James was painted in golden floral patterns for the Great Railway Show. He was repainted back into his original livery when he returned to Sodor.
- Susan Roman (Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- Tom Hanks (Tomica Trains)
- Susan Roman (James and the Magic Railroad)
- Katsuji Mori (Japan; First - Eighth Series)
- Masashi Ebara (Japan; Calling All Engines! Onwards)
- Michael Angelis (Thomas And The Magic Railroad; Original Workprints Only)
- Keith Wickham (UK, Hero Of The Rails - Twentieth Series, Excluding Tit For Tat)
- Kerry Shale (US, Hero Of The Rails - Eighteenth Series)
- Rob Rackstraw (US; The Adventure Begins Onwards - UK; Tit For Tat Onwards)
- Thomas the Tank Engine - Thomas and the Breakdown Train
- James the Red Engine - James and the Top-Hat, James and the Bootlace, Troublesome Trucks and James and the Express
- Tank Engine Thomas Again - Thomas Goes Fishing (not seen) and Thomas and Bertie (not seen; no lines)
- Troublesome Engines - Henry and the Elephant, Tenders and Turntables, Trouble in the Shed (no lines) and Percy Runs Away
- Henry the Green Engine - Coal and Gordon's Whistle (cameo)
- Toby the Tram Engine - Dirty Objects
- Gordon the Big Engine - Off the Rails (no lines), Leaves and Paint Pots and Queens
- Edward the Blue Engine - Old Iron
- Four Little Engines - Old Faithful (mentioned)
- Percy the Small Engine - Percy and the Signal and Duck Takes Charge
- The Eight Famous Engines - Gordon Goes Foreign, Double Header and The Fat Controller's Engines
- Duck and the Diesel Engine - Domeless Engines (cameo, no lines), Pop Goes the Diesel, Dirty Work and A Close Shave (mentioned)
- The Little Old Engine - Rock 'n' Roll
- The Twin Engines - Hullo Twins!, The Missing Coach (mentioned), Break Van and The Deputation
- Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine - Bowled Out
- Main Line Engines - Buzz, Buzz and Edward's Exploit
- Small Railway Engines - Ballast (not seen; no lines)
- Enterprising Engines - Tenders for Henry, Super Rescue (cameo, no lines) and Little Western
- Oliver the Western Engine - Resource and Sagacity
- James and the Diesel Engines - Old Stuck-Up, Crossed Lines, Fire-Engine and Deep Freeze
- Great Little Engines - Peter Sam and the Prickly Problem (mentioned)
- More About Thomas the Tank Engine - Better Late Than Never
- Gordon the High-Speed Engine - High Speed Gordon (cameo, no lines), Fire Escape and Gordon Proves His Point
- Thomas and the Twins - Trevor Helps Out (cameo, no lines)
- Thomas and the Great Railway Show - Museum-Piece and Not the Ticket
- Henry and the Express - Out of Puff, Overhaul, Sliding Scales and Henry Sees Red (cameo, no lines)
- Wilbert the Forest Engine - Foaming at the Funnel
- Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines - Birdstrike, Edward and the Cabbages (not seen) and Golden Jubilee
- Thomas and his Friends - Buffer Bashing and Centenary
- Thomas's Christmas Party
- Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
- Thomas and the Hurricane
- 1972 - The Railway Series: Surprise Packet
- 1976 - Famous Engines and Railway Map of the Island of Sodor
- 1984 - Thomas's Christmas Party
- 1986 - Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
- 1987 - The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways
- 2005 - Sodor: Reading Between the Lines
- Series 1 - Thomas and Gordon (cameo, no lines), Edward and Gordon (cameo, no lines), The Sad Story of Henry (cameo, no lines), Edward, Gordon and Henry (cameo, no lines), Thomas' Train (cameo, no lines), Thomas and the Trucks (cameo, no lines), Thomas and the Breakdown Train, James and the Coaches, Troublesome Trucks, James and the Express, Thomas Goes Fishing, Tenders and Turntables, Trouble in the Shed, Percy Runs Away, Coal, The Flying Kipper (cameo, no lines), Whistles and Sneezes (cameo, no lines), Thomas in Trouble (cameo, no lines), Dirty Objects, Off the Rails (no lines), and Thomas' Christmas Party
- Series 2 - Cows (cameo, no lines), Saved from Scrap (cameo, no lines), Old Iron, Percy and the Signal, Duck Takes Charge, Pop Goes the Diesel, Dirty Work, A Close Shave (speaks only in Japanese dub), Better Late Than Never, Break Van, The Deputation, Edward's Exploit and Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree (cameo, no lines)
- Series 3 - A Scarf for Percy, Percy's Promise (cameo, no lines), Time for Trouble, Gordon and the Famous Visitor (cameo, no lines), Donald's Duck (cameo, no lines), Thomas Gets Bumped (no lines), Thomas, Percy and the Dragon, Diesel Does it Again (cameo, no lines), Henry's Forest, The Trouble with Mud, No Joke for James, Trust Thomas, Buzz, Buzz, Tender Engines, Escape, Oliver Owns Up, Bulgy (cameo, no lines), Percy, James and the Fruitful Day and Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure (cameo, no lines)
- Series 4 - Sleeping Beauty, Bulldog, Four Little Engines (cameo, no lines), Rock 'n' Roll, Steam Roller (cameo, no lines), Gallant Old Engine (cameo, no lines), Thomas and Stepney (cameo, no lines), Train Stops Play (cameo, no lines), Bowled Out, Henry and the Elephant, Toad Stands By (cameo, no lines), Bulls Eyes (cameo, no lines), Thomas and the Special Letter, Paint Pots and Queens, Fish (cameo, no lines) and Mind that Bike (cameo, no lines)
- Series 5 - Cranky Bugs, Horrid Lorry, A Better View for Gordon, Lady Hatt's Birthday Party (cameo, no lines), James and the Trouble with Trees, Gordon and the Gremlin, Baa! (no lines), Put Upon Percy (cameo, no lines), Haunted Henry (cameo, no lines), Something in the Air (cameo, no lines), Thomas, Percy and Old Slowcoach, Thomas and the Rumours, Oliver's Find (cameo, no lines), Happy Ever After (cameo, no lines), Make Someone Happy and Busy Going Backwards
- Series 6 - Salty's Secret (cameo, no lines), Harvey to the Rescue, No Sleep for Cranky (cameo, no lines), A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter (cameo, no lines), Elizabeth the Vintage Lorry (cameo, no lines), The Fogman, It's Only Snow, Twin Trouble (cameo, no lines), The World's Strongest Engine, Scaredy Engines, Percy and the Haunted Mine (cameo, no lines), Middle Engine, James and the Red Balloon, Jack Frost, Gordon Takes a Tumble, Percy's Chocolate Crunch, Thomas, Percy and the Squeak, Thomas the Jet Engine and Edward the Very Useful Engine (no lines)
- Series 7 - Emily's New Coaches (cameo, no lines), Percy Gets it Right, Edward's Brass Band (stock footage cameo, no lines), What's the Matter with Henry? (cameo, no lines), James and the Queen of Sodor, The Spotless Record (cameo, no lines), Bulgy Rides Again, Harold and the Flying Horse (cameo, no lines), Best Dressed Engine, Gordon and Spencer, Not So Hasty Puddings (cameo, no lines) and Three Cheers for Thomas (stock footage cameo, no lines)
- Jack and the Sodor Construction Company - A Tale for Thomas (cameo, no lines) and Mud, Glorious Mud (cameo, no lines)
- Series 8 - Thomas and the Tuba (no lines), Percy's New Whistle (cameo, no lines), Thomas to the Rescue (cameo, no lines), James Gets a New Coat, Thomas Saves the Day, Percy's Big Mistake (no lines), Thomas, Emily and the Snowplough (cameo, no lines), Don't Tell Thomas, Emily's New Route, Thomas and the Firework Display, Gordon Takes Charge (no lines), Spic and Span, Edward the Great, Thomas and the Circus, Thomas Gets it Right, As Good as Gordon, Halloween (cameo, no lines), James Goes Too Far, Chickens to School (cameo, no lines), Too Hot for Thomas and Percy and the Magic Carpet
- Series 9 - Percy and the Oil Painting (no lines), Thomas and the Rainbow (no lines), Molly's Special Special (no lines), Thomas' Milkshake Muddle (cameo, no lines), Thomas and the Toy Shop (cameo, no lines), Respect for Gordon, Thomas and the Birthday Picnic (cameo, no lines), Thomas and the New Engine, Toby Feels Left Out, Thomas Tries His Best, Thomas and the Statue (no lines), Thomas' Day Off (cameo, no lines), Thomas' New Trucks, Saving Edward (cameo, no lines), Thomas and the Golden Eagle (cameo, no lines), Keeping Up with James and Flour Power (cameo, no lines)
- Series 10 - Follow that Flour, Thomas and the Jet Plane (cameo, no lines), Percy and the Funfair, The Green Controller, Thomas' Tricky Tree (cameo, no lines), It's Good to be Gordon , Seeing the Sights (stock footage cameo, no lines), Toby's New Shed (cameo, no lines), Topped Off Thomas (cameo, no lines), Thomas and the Shooting Star, Big Strong Henry (cameo, no lines), Wharf and Peace, Thomas' Frosty Friend, Thomas and the Colours, Duncan's Bluff, Thomas and the Treasure and James the Second Best
- Series 11 - Thomas and the Storyteller, Emily's Rubbish, Dream On (cameo, no lines), Dirty Work, Hector the Horrid!, Gordon and the Engineer (only speaks in the Sprout Airings and Japanese version; cameo and no lines in other dubs), Thomas and the Spaceship (cameo, no lines), Henry's Lucky Day, Thomas and the Lighthouse, Thomas and the Big Bang (no lines), Thomas Sets Sail, Don't be Silly, Billy (cameo, no lines), Edward and the Mail (cameo, no lines), Hide and Peep (cameo, no lines), Toby's Triumph (cameo, no lines), Thomas and the Runaway Car (cameo, no lines), Thomas in Trouble, Thomas and the Stinky Cheese, Sir Handel in Charge and Ding-a-Ling
- Series 12 - Thomas and the Billboard, Heave Ho Thomas! (cameo, no lines), James Works it Out, Tram Trouble (cameo, no lines) and Percy and the Bandstand (stock footage cameo; no lines)
- Series 13 - Creaky Cranky, The Lion of Sodor, Tickled Pink, Double Trouble (cameo, no lines), Slippy Sodor, The Early Bird, Play Time , Thomas and the Pigs, Percy's Parcel, Toby's New Whistle, A Blooming Mess, Thomas and the Runaway Kite (no lines), Steamy Sodor, Splish Splash Splosh, The Biggest Present of All (no lines), Snow Tracks (cameo, no lines), Henry's Good Deeds (cameo, no lines), Buzzy Bees (cameo, no lines) and Hiro Helps Out (cameo, no lines)
- Series 14 - Thomas' Tall Friend (cameo, no lines), James in the Dark, Pingy Pongy Pick Up, Charlie and Eddie (cameo, no lines), Toby and the Whistling Woods, Henry's Health and Safety (cameo, no lines), Diesel's Special Delivery, Pop Goes Thomas, Merry Winter Wish, Being Percy, Henry's Magic Box, Thomas and the Snowman Party, Thomas' Crazy Day (cameo, no lines), Jumping Jobi Wood!, Thomas and Scruff (cameo, no lines), O the Indignity and Jitters and Japes (cameo, no lines)
- Series 15 - Gordon and Ferdinand (cameo, no lines), Percy's New Friends (cameo, no lines), Edward the Hero (cameo, no lines), James to the Rescue, Happy Hiro (cameo, no lines), Up, Up and Away! (cameo, no lines), Henry's Happy Coal (cameo, no lines), Let it Snow (cameo, no lines), Surprise, Surprise (cameo, no lines), Spencer the Grand (cameo, no lines), Stuck on You, Kevin the Steamie (cameo, no lines), Wonky Whistle (cameo, no lines), Percy the Snowman (cameo, no lines), Tree Trouble (cameo, no lines) and Fiery Flynn (cameo, no lines)
- Series 16 - Race to the Rescue (cameo, no lines), Express Coming Through (cameo, no lines), Percy and the Monster of Brendam (cameo, no lines), Flash Bang Wallop!, Thomas and the Rubbish Train (cameo, no lines), Thomas Toots the Crows (cameo, no lines), Bust My Buffers! (cameo, no lines), Percy and the Calliope (cameo, no lines), Thomas and the Sounds of Sodor, Salty's Surprise (cameo, no lines), Sodor Surprise Day (cameo, no lines), Muddy Matters, Whiff's Wish and Happy Birthday Sir! (cameo, no lines)
- Series 17 - Kevin's Cranky Friend (cameo, no lines), Scruff's Makeover, Wayward Winston (cameo, no lines), Gordon Runs Dry, Calm Down Caitlin (cameo, no lines), Steamie Stafford (cameo), Henry's Hero (cameo, no lines), The Lost Puff (cameo, no lines), The Thomas Way (cameo, no lines), The Phantom Express, Too Many Fire Engines (cameo, no lines), No Snow for Thomas (cameo, no lines), Santa's Little Engine (cameo, no lines), The Missing Christmas Decorations, The Frozen Turntable, The Afternoon Tea Express, The Smelly Kipper and Thomas' Shortcut (cameo, no lines)
- Series 18 - Old Reliable Edward, Flatbeds of Fear (cameo, no lines), Disappearing Diesels (cameo, no lines), Signals Crossed, Toad's Adventure, Duck in the Water, Duck and the Slip Coaches, Thomas and the Emergency Cable (cameo, no lines), Duncan and the Grumpy Passenger (cameo, no lines), Spencer's VIP, Toad's Bright Idea, Last Train for Christmas, Duncan the Humbug (cameo, no lines), The Perfect Gift (cameo, no lines), Emily Saves the World, Timothy and the Rainbow Truck (cameo, no lines) and Samson at Your Service
- Series 19 - Who's Geoffrey?, The Truth About Toby, Lost Property (cameo, no lines), Henry Spots Trouble, Toad and the Whale (cameo, no lines), Very Important Sheep (cameo, no lines), Salty All At Sea, Helping Hiro (cameo, no lines), The Beast of Sodor, Diesel's Ghostly Christmas (cameo, no lines), Slow Stephen, Reds vs. Blues, Best Engine Ever, The Little Engine Who Raced Ahead, Philip to the Rescue, Rocky Rescue (cameo, no lines), The Other Side of the Mountain (cameo, no lines) and Goodbye Fat Controller
- Series 20 - Toby's New Friend (cameo, no lines), Henry Gets the Express, Diesel and the Ducklings, Bradford the Brake Van, Pouty James, Letters to Santa (cameo, no lines), The Christmas Coffeepot (cameo, no lines), Over the Hill, Henry in the Dark, Three Steam Engines Gruff, Engine of the Future, Hugo and the Airship, All in Vain and Tit for Tat
- Series 21 - Dowager Hatt's Busy Day, Stuck in Gear (cameo, no lines), P.A. Problems (cameo, no lines), Hasty Hannah, Cranky at the End of the Line (cameo, no lines), Philip's Number (no lines), The Fastest Red Engine on Sodor, A Shed for Edward, Emily in the Middle and The Big Freeze
- Series 22 - Number One Engine (life lesson), Forever and Ever, Confusion Without Delay, What Rebecca Does, Thomas Goes to Bollywood (life lesson), An Engine of Many Colours, School of Duck (cameo, no lines), Seeing is Believing, Apology Impossible, Samson and the Fireworks (cameo, no lines), Thomas’ Animal Ark and Counting on Nia (life lesson; cameo)
- Series 23 - Chucklesome Trucks, Gordon Gets the Giggles (cameo, no lines), Grudge Match (life lesson), Steam Team To The Rescue!, Panicky Percy, First Day on Sodor and Rangers of the Rails
- Series 24 - Thomas and the Royal Engine, A New Arrival, World of Tomorrow, Emily's Best Friend, Thomas' Fuzzy Friend, The Great Little Railway Show, Emily to the Rescue, James the Super Engine, Sonny's Second Chance, Gordon and Rebecca, Coming Through!, Nia's Bright Idea and Thomas' Animal Friends
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad
- Calling All Engines!
- The Great Discovery
- Hero of the Rails
- Misty Island Rescue
- Day of the Diesels
- Blue Mountain Mystery
- King of the Railway
- Tale of the Brave
- The Adventure Begins
- Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure
- The Great Race
- Journey Beyond Sodor
- Big World! Big Adventures!
- Series 8 - Being Blue, Being on Time (pre-filmed footage cameo), Helping One Another and What Makes Percy Feel Better? (cameo)
- Series 9 - Same Colour, Which Load for Which Route? and What Goes Where? (cameo)
- Series 10 - Who Will Percy See?, Toby's Favourite Place (cameo) and Diesels and Steamers (cameo)
- Series 8 - Guess the Engine - James, Getting There and Painting James
- Series 9 - Who's Under The Coal Dust? - James, Getting to the Washdown, Dot to Dot - James and Fixing the Engines
- Series 10 - New Parts for James, Who's Under the Coal Dust? - Emily, Which Friends is in Which Shed?, What Does Harold See? and Happy or Sad
- Unknown - Being Repainted and Pulling Coaches
- Welcome to the Island of Sodor Logan! (stock footage cameo)
- Welcome to the Island of Sodor Sam! (stock footage cameo)
- A Friendly Farewell (cameo)
- Thomas & Friends in 4-D: Bubbling Boilers
- Meet the Contenders: Percy of Sodor (not named; no lines)
- Meet the Contenders: Thomas of Sodor (cameo)
- Shark Escape (cameo)
- 1987 - Edward and Gordon (cameo), Thomas and the Trucks (cameo), Thomas and the Breakdown Train and James and the Coaches
- 1988 - James and the Troublesome Trucks, James and the Express, Thomas and the Horse, Tenders and Turntables, Trouble in the Shed , Percy Runs Away, James and the Tar Wagons, Old Iron, Percy and the Signal, Percy Gets Jammed, Thomas' Present, The Train Spotters (mentioned), Edward's Exploits and Duck Takes Charge
- 1989 - Gordon's Express, In a Sulk, Diesel's Christmas, The Party , A Second Chance, An Important Visitor, The Missing Holly! and A Surprise for Thomas
- 1990 - Rumours and Speculation, Edward and the Express, Timetable Trouble, The Backlog, Percy and the Dragon and Trouble on the Track
- 1991 - Duck's Service, Gordon Forgets and Daisy in Distress
- 1992 - James's Task and Henry and the Holidaymakers!
- 1993 - Trevor to the Rescue!, Percy and the Parrot!, Roof Repairs!, The Wedding Engine! (cameo), The Viaduct! and First with the Food! (mentioned)
- 1994 - The New Station and Thomas Keeps a Secret!
- 1995 - Keeping Clean!, The Engine Parade!, Thomas's Bell! and A Desk for Daisy!
- 1996 - Proud Mavis!, Gordon's Spots!, Going Slowly!, Too Tired!, The Little Line, The Trouble With Mud!, Lost Property! (does not speak), Oliver's Mistake (cameo), Oliver's Mistake (cameo), The Brown Bear and Percy's Squeak! (cameo)
- 1997 - Henry's Busy Day (does not speak), Henry's Hills, Henry, 'Smile, Please!', April Fools, The Flower Train, James and Star Story!
- 1998 - The Exhibition! (does not speak), Billy's Bones! (cameo), James Breaks the Rules, James' Hotel!, The Easter Cake! (cameo) and Christmas Crisis (does not speak)
- 1999 - Bill and Ben's Trick (mentioned), Duck and Diesel and Donald and Douglas
- 2000 - The End of the Rainbow!, Night Work (cameo), Rude James, The Milk Train, Harold's View, Henrietta's Holiday (mentioned), Lucky to be Lost! (cameo), The Lost Scarf and Painting the Shed
- 2001 - False Alarm, Diesel Day!, Choc-o-BoCo! (cameo), A Special Story About BoCo , A Special Story About Snow! (cameo), Midnight Mavis, A Burst Balloon! (cameo) and Pulling the Post (cameo)
- 2002 - The Winning Shot (cameo), James and the Bees, Big Ideas!, Sodor Goes Pop!, The Blue Engine Club, Diesels and Steam Engines (cameo), Clean Up Chaos (cameo), A Snowy Reception and Diesel's Drums
- 2003 - New Year Cheer!, Feeling Fine, Tour of Sodor, Crane Strain! , Books Aboard!, The Boatshow, Super Heroes! (cameo), A Foggy Friend (cameo), Harold's Bad Day (cameo), Gordon's Surprise, The Most Beautiful Station (cameo), Percy's Party! (cameo), Animal Antics!, Frozen Engine (cameo), Sandblasted! (cameo), Revving Racers ) and The Cat Controller!
- 2004 - Rocket Power, Fishy Business, Harvey to the Rescue!, Scrapes and Spills, Thank You, Thomas!, James and the Red Balloon, Scary Jack Frost, James' New Coat, Peep! Peep! Moo! Moo!, Holiday Hat, Daisy's Delight, Thomas Gets It Right, Percy to the Rescue (cameo), Harold's Bad Day (cameo), Henry's Forest, Sky Shapes, Place to Play, Toby's Troubles!, Edward to the Rescue! (cameo), Dirty Percy!, Emily's Day Out, Colour Quarrel!, A Frog in his Throat!, It's Only Snow! (cameo), Favourite Journey, The Big Wheel, The Train Trolley, The River Race, Engine Ball, Spotty Thomas, Missing Murdoch, Salty's Tales, Dazzling Diesel!, Sparks Fly (cameo), Thomas the Tortoise, Glider Rider (cameo) and Taking Off!
- 2005 - King Thomas, What's Cooking?, Winter Watch, Percy and the Magic Carpet (cameo), Emily's New Route, Three Kings, Spick and Span, Really Useful Colours, George's Little Joke, A Treat for Trying (cameo), Cat and Mouse, Glider Rider (cameo), A Jumbo-Sized Surprise (cameo), Relay Rescue, On the Beach, As Good as Gordon (cameo) and Something Fishy
- 2006 - Justice for James, Fun and James, Saving Edward (cameo), Thomas, Emily and the Snowplow (cameo), Old and Useful, Thomas and the New Engine and Thomas and the Statue (cameo)
- 2007 - A Job for James, The Santa Engine, Ding-a-Ling!, The Best Smile , Autumn Leaves (cameo), Surprise Visitor (cameo) and Wheely Useful
- 2008 - Snow Trouble! (cameo), Track Race, Being Bright (cameo) and Thomas and the Lighthouse!
- 2009 - New Delivery and Thomas Saves the Day
- 2010 - Diesel's Special Delivery , Magpie Mavis , The Best Present of All (cameo), Early Bird (speaks in speech bubble only), Bubble Trouble, Christmas Dinner Diner, Big Ideas, Proud Puffers, Creaky Cranky (does not speak), Misty Island Rescue (cameo), Pulling the Post (cameo), Emily's Lucky Day, Snow Tracks, A Blooming Mess, Thomas and the Rainbow! (cameo) , Perfect Plough (speaks in speech bubble only) and Percy and the Magic Carpet (cameo)
- 2011 - Off Colour, Being Percy (cameo), Steam on Stamps, Smiles All Round, Misty Island Rescue (cameo), Ready, Jet Set, Go! (cameo), Watch the Clock, Really Red, The Flying Teapot (does not speak), Tickled Pink, Winter Wish , Making Annie Smile, Steamy Sodor, Snow Tracks (cameo), Party Time, Mirror, Mirror, Heave Ho Thomas! (cameo), Ready, Jet Set, Go! (cameo), Scrubbed Up, Creaky Cranky (does not speak) and Animal Adventure
- 2012 - Clever James, Rescue Team, Tender Trouble, Paint for Percy , Thomas and the Pigs, Museum Mayhem (possible cameo; may be seen as model only), Early Bird (mentioned), The Railway Show , The Fat Controller's Bedtime Story (Issue 643), Team Spirit Time!, Message Mix-Up!, Clock Countdown (cameo), Thomas and the Sounds of Sodor (cameo) and Keeping up with James
- 2013 - Muddy Matters, Flash! Crash! Wallop! , Hover Bother!, Being Percy (cameo), James and the Giant Animals, Henrietta's Holiday (mentioned), Thomas the Spotter, Gordon Runs Dry (speaks in speech bubble only), The Railway Rink (cameo) and New Year Party (cameo)
- 2014 - Engine Trouble, The Royal Carriage, Muddy Matters, Fever!, Henry's Forest, Henry's Hero (cameo), Frozen Turntable and Steamy Sodor
- 2015 - Stinky James, Signals Crossed, No 'I' in Team (mentioned), Duck in the Water, Silent Puffing!, Spencer's Star (mentioned), The Perfect Present (cameo), Henrietta's Holiday (mentioned) and Diesel's Drums
- 2016 - Tickled Pink! and James' Ghost Train!
- 2017 - Engine Trouble, Steamy Sodor and Flash! Crash! Wallop!
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James also appeared in the magazine stories, A Colourful Christmas, A Job for James, A Long Way Up!, A Special Story about Steam, Back-to-Front, Bricks and Tunnels, Building Blues!, Clever Climbers!, Coal Weather, Daisy's Day, Diesel's Drums, Diesel's Nasty Turn, Doctors and Nurses, Fast Food!, Fish and Fog!, Fishy Diesel!, Flying James, Gordon the Town Engine, Harvest, Jack Frost, James and Edward, James and the Cheese, Lazy Wheels, Leaves on the Line, Looking Splendid, Lost and Found, Luggage, Missing Murdoch, Party Time!, Percy's House, Percy's Plight, Percy's Spooky Tooth, Picture Posters, Puzzles, Railway Open Day, Really Useful Edward, Rushing Around, Scaredy Puffer!, Sea Sick, Seeing Steam, Ship Ahoy!, Size Wise, Sodor's Strong Man, Sodor Goes Pop!, Special Passengers, Special Treats, Stick with Steam, The Best Band, The Best Engine, The Flower Dome, The Flyover!, The Haunted Mine, The Smartest Engine, The Smugglers, The Tiny Engine and The Very Important Job.
- 1985 - Donald's Duck (cameo), Gale Warning and James' Rest Cure
- 1986 - Old Groaner
- 1987 - Signal Failure and Percy's Passengers
- 1988 - Percy and the Brake Van (mentioned), Responsibilities (mentioned) and Jack-in-the-Box
- 1989 - Trapped by Trees
- 1990 - Thomas and the Cricketers (mentioned), Old Square Wheels, Donald and the Breakaways and Points of No Return
- 1991 - Near Miss (mentioned) and Rusty Red Scrap Iron
- 1992 - Galloping Sausage
- 1993 - James' Traffic Jam and The Hut that Walked by Itself
- 1994 - James' Rest Cure
- 1995 - Easter Egg Special and Thank You, Thomas and Toby
- 1996 - James Gets Cracking and Pantomime Pranks
- 1997 - Rusty's Revenge and We Wish You a Merry Christmas! (mentioned)
- 1998 - Engines to the Rescue
- 1999 - Leaves on the Line
- 2000 - Thomas the Famous Engine and The Flood
- 2001 - Very Special Engines , Edward Saves the Day and Donald and Douglas
- 2002 - A Special Day for Thomas, "That's the Way to Do It!" (cameo), The Really Useful Traction Engine and Percy's Dream
- 2013 Holiday Annual - The Biggest Present of All (cameo)
Appearances in Fanfiction
Here are all the fanfictions that this character makes an appearance in that are on this wiki. If your fanfiction includes James, add it to this list.
- Michael Angelis (Thomas and the Magic Railroad ; original workprints only)
- Susan Roman (Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- Keith Wickham (UK, Hero of the Rails - The Great Race, excluding Tit for Tat)
- Kerry Shale (US, Hero of the Rails - eighteenth series)
- Rob Rackstraw (US; The Adventure Begins onwards - UK; Tit for Tat onwards, excluding remainder of twentieth series and The Great Race)
- Sébastien Reding (Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- Fabrice Trojani (France and French speaking Canada; eighth series onwards)
- Katsuji Mori (Japan; first - eighth series)
- Masashi Ebara (Japan; Calling All Engines! Onwards)
- Helge Winther Larsen (Norway; Hero of the Rails - Tale of the Brave)
- Paul Ottar Haga (Norway; eighteenth series onwards)
- Simone Crisari (Italy)
- Gianluca Crisafi (Italy; nineteenth series onwards)
- Uranus Huerta (Latin America; Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- Eduardo Garza (Latin America; Thomas and the Magic Railroad; TV Version)
- Mario Castañeda (Latin America; Hero of the Rails onwards; excluding Over the Hill)
- Arturo Mercado Jr. (Latin America; Over the Hill only)
- Beto Castillo (Latin America; singing voice)
- Gustavo Carrillo (Latin America; Hugo and the Airship only; one phrase)
- Christian Strempler (Latin America; DC Super Friends ™ San Diego Comic Con Only)
- Wanja Gerick (Germany; Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- Tobias Schmidt (Germany, Audio Books and Hero of the Rails onwards, excluding Day of the Diesels)
- Waldemar Barwiński (Poland; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Jeremy Luton (The Netherlands)
- Asaf Corman (Israel; Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- TBA (Israel; Hero of the Rails - fourteenth series)
- Gadi Levy (Israel; fifteenth series onwards, excluding Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure)
- Gilan Shachaf (Israel; Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure only)
- Troells Toya (Denmark)
- Fabio de Castro (Brazil, Hero of the Rails - sixteenth series)
- Lucas Gama (Brazil, seventeenth series onwards, excluding Tale of the Brave)
- Ulisses Bezerra (Brazil; Tale of the Brave only)
- Jorge Teixeira (Spain)
- Petri Hanttu (Finland; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Gyurik Istvan (Hungary)
- Martin Geraskov (Bulgarian)
- Olga Kuznetsova (Russia, Hero of the Rails - nineteenth series, except Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure)
- TBA (Russia; Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure only)
- Anton Savenkov (Russia, The Great Race onwards)
- Um Sang-hyun (South Korea)
- Roger Storm (Sweden; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Haris Grigoropoulos (Greece; first - fourteenth series)
- TBA (Greece; Day of the Diesels - sixteenth series)
- Loukas Frangoulis (Greece; King of the Railway onwards)
- A large scale working replica of James was built by BBC Visual Effects for a tour in 2003, along with Thomas, Percy, Harold and Jack. The battery powered locomotive is listed in the 2004 Guinness Book of Records as the largest model railway engine ever built, at 2.64 x 1.5 x 6.52 metres. The model was ultimately scrapped in 2018.
- James is named after James Furze, a friend of the son of the man who published the second book in the Railway Series.
- James was illustrated into The Three Railway Engines as the red engine who tried to push Henry out of the tunnel. However, children began sending letters to Awdry asking why James was painted red prior to the events of Thomas the Tank Engine. Awdry then decided to make the Red Engine a new character altogether.
- In the first season, James was formally introduced in Thomas and the Breakdown Train, which was said to have been his first day on the railway. However, he had appeared in every prior episode as a background character. This may have been done to populate the sets, similar to how the Märklin Engine was used in later episodes.
- James has been painted in more liveries than any other engine in the television series, with a total of four.
- Andrew Brenner has said in an interview that James is one of his favourite characters, along with Toby, Bill and Ben.
- In Toby's New Whistle, James revealed that he once had a three-chime steam whistle.
- Although he is now has the same voice actor (Rob Rackstraw) in both dubs, James speaks with a different accent in each; he speaks with an American accent in the US dub, but speaks with an English accent in the UK dub. He is the second character in the show to be in this situation, the first being Belle.
- James is the only Steam Team member to have a one-syllable name. He also has the shortest name in pronunciation terms.